A very fine Empire gilt and patinated bronze mantel clock representing Jason, as the very point after killing the dragon, he is taking the Golden Fleece which hang from the tree branch. Attributed to Pierre-François Feuchère, date circa 1810.
A dynamic sculpture in gilded and burnished bronze
The gilt bronze dial with Roman numerals centred by the figures of Mars and Diana with a pair of blued steel Breguet style hands for the hours and minutes mounted at the base of an oak tree trunk.
Jason wearing a helmet, tunic and sandals, the hero standing on the dragon that he has just killed with the sword still held in his hand, with the arm outstretched to grasp the golden fleece; the dragon lies on the ground, confused between the folds of Jason’s cloak which descends to cover the base of the rectangular Verde Antico marble base on gilt lion paw feet.
Despite its considerable structural complexity, the artist played on the relationship between gilded and burnished bronze; the sculpture presents a dynamic momentum in the figure of Jason, the only protagonist, who stands out against the background of the solid burnished trunk of the broken oak, recognizable by some branches with the characteristic acorns.
The quality is outstanding and visible in the differences between the matte and polished gilt parts enlivening the whole beautifully. The realistic posture of Jason completes this striking clock from the Empire period. The excellence of this superb clock leads to the atelier of Pierre-François Feuchère.
An identical clock is in the Musée de Malmaison, while another in the Palacio Real in Madrid was supplied to the Spanish royal family.
Pierre Kjellberg, “Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XXe Siècle”, 1997, p. 413, illustrating an identical clock and pp. 362-3, illustrating a detail of the latter.
Elke Niehüser, “Die Französische Bronzeuhr”, 1997, p. 64, pl. 91, illustrating another identical clock by Pierre-François Feuchère.
Bernard Chevallier, “Decors d’Empire”, 2008, p. 34, illustrating an identical clock.
Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, “Vergoldete Bronzen”, 1986, p. 351, pl. 5.7.6, illustrating a comparable clock by Pierre-Victor Ledure (b. 1783 d. post 1840) showing Jason standing more upright, the dial also differs as does the drapery and positioning of the dragon.
Ramon Colon de Carvajal, Catalogo de Relojes del Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid 1987; p. 186, pl. 166, illustrating an identical model.